1. The 19th Annual Colorado Mountain Winefest, Palisade, Colorado, September 16-19
This little town sits in the heart of Colorado’s wine and fruit industry, surrounded by the scenic Book Cliffs and Grand Mesa. This four-day festival has something for everyone, including cooking demonstrations, grape-stomping, even bicycle tours and golf sessions.
Top Chef D.C. fans will recognize contestant Kelly Liken, owner of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, whose evening event will include a reception, chef demo, wine tasting, and dinner.
Even non-drinkers can benefit with reduced “designated driver” tickets, while outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the 25-mile bicycle ride through the vineyards.
2. New York’s First Annual Oktoberfest on the Hudson, New York, September 18
If it’s September, it must be Oktoberfest! New York City is kicking it off with the First Annual Oktoberfest on the Hudson on Pier 81. Yes, that’s beer on the pier, along with a sizable variety of brats and other German favorites. A one-hour boat cruise onboard the World Yacht sets sail at 2 p.m., with plenty more beer on board.
3. Wine and Grape Appreciation Month, North Carolina
The Tar Heels know how to party and the flourishing wine industry is just another reason to celebrate all month long. There are several festivals taking place this fall: Triangle Uncorked in Cary on September 25; the North Caroline Wine & Food Weekend September 24-26 that features a free photo-scavenger hunt and a make-your-own wine seminar; the 6th Annual North Carolina Muscadine Harvest Festival on September 25 in Kenansville; and Yadkin Valley Grape Festival in Yadkinville on Saturday, October 16. And here’s a bit of trivia to impress the locals: North Carolina’s state fruit is the Scuppernong grape, a variety of the muscadine, believed to be the first cultivated grape in the nation. The 400-year-old “Mother Vine” can still be found growing on Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
The Central Valley is the center of California’s agricultural zone, and Paso Robles is rapidly gaining notoriety as a wine destination in its own right.
Savor the Central Coast will feature tastings from more than 300 wineries and 30+ chefs using locally sourced ingredients. Kitchen garden tours, winemaker dinners, and an appearance from Tyler Florence round out this weekend event hosted by Sunset magazine.
In mid-October, more than 140 wineries will come together for tastings, cheese pairings, winemaker dinners, blending seminars, cooking demos, and much more. Tip: Once you’ve had your fill of wine and cheese tastings, head to Hope Family Wines for the unusual Bacon and Wine Pairing event. For more, check out Paso Robles Wines & Hotels by Suzy Gershman.
From historical areas to the waterfront, there are plenty of fall wine festivals to choose from in Virginia. The Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour on October 3 blends Virginia wine tastings with history lessons, plus an evening tour that takes visitors into the cellar where George Washington stored his own wine. The 23rd annual Norfolk Town Point Virginia Wine Festival, taking place October 16-17, is one of the largest in the state with more than 30 local wineries participating.
By Jessica Kate Soberman for PeterGreenberg.com.
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